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Texas 22, Us 18, United States 10, Romney 9, U.s. 8, Mexico 5, Marco Rubio 4, Alfonso 4, Washington 3, America 3, Rick Perry 3, Bob Casey 3, Northern Ireland 3, Aei 3, Karl Rove 2, Chris Kovak 2, Houston 2, Latinos 2, Ramesh 2, Perry 2,
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  CSPAN    Today in Washington    News/Business. News.  

    November 21, 2012
    7:30 - 9:00am EST  

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confirm the forthcoming budget negotiations, he will not agree to any further reduction in this debate? >> i certainly give my hon. friend that assurance. the rebate negotiated by margaret thatcher is an incredibly important part of britain's position of making sure we get a fair deal. .. >> but could i ask him if he believes that it will be
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possible to bring similar prestigious events to northern ireland in the future? >> i will certainly look at that. i believe it really is the right decision, for the g8 to be based in ireland on the 17th and 18th of june, and what i thought was interesting yesterday standing there talking about the situation, something that would have been unthinkable 20 years ago, to have that sort of event with so many world leaders coming to northern ireland, that i think it would be a great advertisement for everything that people in northern ireland can achieve and, i hope, the harbinger of events to come. >> does the prime minister agree that the united states loss of its aaa rating shows that the u.k. retains the confidence of the market because of the difficult but necessary decision that is we are take -- decisions that we are taking? >> because we've set out a clear
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plan, we're able to have low interest rates, we're able to have international confidence which is the proper growth plan for the u.k.. >> order. i'm grateful to the prime minister and colleagues. point of order, diana johnson. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i understand that it is not finish. >> here on c-span2 we'll leave the british house of commons now as they move on to other legislative business. you've been watching prime minister's question time aired live wednesdays at 7 a.m. eastern while parliament's in session. you can see this week's question time again sunday night at 9 eastern and pacific on c-span. and for more information go to c-span.org and click on c-span series for prime minister's questions, plus links to international news media and legislatures around the world. you can also watch recent video, including programs dealing with other international issues. richard land of the southern baptist convention said monday
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that republicans lost the latino vote and, ultimately, the election during the presidential primaries. he was part of a panel on immigration policy and the gop. from the american enterprise institute, this is 90 minutes. [inaudible conversations] >> good morning, everybody. my name is nick schulz, i'm the dewitt wallace fellow here at the american enterprise institute, and i'm the editor of american.com, aei's flagship online magazine. want to thank you for coming to our event today, conservatives and immigration reform, now what? i'd like to thank, before i get started, i'd like to thank my colleague dan rothschild here at aei who had the idea for doing this event and helped bring it all together.
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dan's had an issue in this for a long time, as have i, and i think it's timely and important that we start talking about some of these things. you know, there's been a tension at the heart of the conservative movement's approach to immigration for at least as long as i've polled politics and -- followed politics and a lot longer than that. there are two influential camps that have jockeyed for control to define the right approach on immigration policy. this'll be a crude generalization, but i believe a fair one. on the one hand, there are economic libertarians. they don't mind so much the presence of large numbers of immigrants here in the united states illegally. and they would also welcome much more legal immigration as well. we can call in the "wall street journal" wing. on the other hand are social and law and order conservatives who are concerned about preserving america's unique culture and social order. to these conservatives, the
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presence of large numbers of people in the united states in violation of american law is inherently problematic. what's more, many of them aren't wild about the influx of large numbers of legal immigrants either, arguing that any culture needs sufficient time for new arrivals to assimilate and that cultures can benefit from periodic pauses in immigration. now, there's some other camps as well. for example, moral and social conservatives such as some in the catholic church and other religious groups who favor what might be called a light touch approach to immigration on what they believe are social justice grounds. but the broader point is there is a deep tension and division on the right on immigration, and there has been for decades now. now, the recent presidential election has brought the immigration issue once again to the center of american politics. governor mitt romney received a small percentage of latino and asian voters, much less than
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george w. bush received it's often noted, and many have said his views on immigration and conservativism's approach to immigration generally were to blame for the gop's poor showing this time around. it's worth noting, i think, that romney tried to appeal in some respects to all factions, all conservative factions on immigration. he repeatedly said that he was in favor of more legal immigration emphasizing legal, but also particularly during the primary season he took a harder line on the question of illegal immigration. what we at aei have decided to do in the wake of this election is convene a thoughtful panel of folks to discuss conservatives and immigration reform. now, i should note that this is the american enterprise institute for public policy research, it is not the institute for figuring out how to get conservatives elected or how to get republicans elected. we're interested in finding the
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right solutions to pick policy problems and issues -- public policy problems and issues. so i ask the panel to not talk solely about immigration in the context of electoral politics. that's certainly an interesting and important thing to do. it's more important that we make progress in elevating sound public policy on immigration. if those sound public policies happen to be political winners, all the better. we've seen lots of pundits and policymakers offer advice such as republicans should get behind a one-time am messty, or republicans -- amnesty or republicans need to stop building walls and start reaching out to more hispanics. maybe these are wise steps. but almost all of the analysis in the wake of the election has been driven by concerns about political expediency and not necessarily because the person advocating this position believes it's sound policy. it's not even clear to me that
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many of the proposals are good politics either, and that's something i suspect we'll get into today. to do better, we've assembled a distinguished group. we have alfonso aguilar, executive director of the latino partnership for conservative principles. alfonso was the first chief of office of u.s. citizenship appointed by president bush. he was responsible for developing and promoting initiatives and programs to educate immigrants about the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. and encourage their integration into american civic culture. brad bailey is the co-founder and ceo of texas immigration solution. from 2000 to 2011, brad was vice president of operations for three bailey family-owned houston-area restaurants. brad co-founded texas immigration solutions in 2012. the group seeks to develop and advance conservative solutions to u.s. immigration policy. brad also served on the 2012
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platform committee of the republican party of texas. richard land is president of the ethics and religious liberty commission, that's the southern baptist convention's official entity assigned to address social, moral and call concerns with particular attention to their impact on american families and their faith. richard is also executive editor of ffv, a national magazine dedicated to coverage of traditional religious values, christian ethics and cultural trends. and last but certainly not least, my friend ramesh pa knew rue who is wrg a columnist for bloom berg view. ramesh has published articles in "the new york times," washington post, wall street yowrnl and financial times. he's also the author, i didn't even know this until today, of a monograph that aei published in 1995 called "the mystery of japanese growth."
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he's been a fellow at the institute of economic affairs in london and a media fellow at stanford university's hoover institution. thank you all for joining us today. so here's how this is going to work. weaver going of to have our -- we're going to have our panelists each talk for about ten minutes, and i may ask questions as we go along, but we're going to leave plenty of time for questions from the audience, so, please, keep that in mind, and we'll have microphones that'll go around later so we can have a nice, spirited discussion. with that, i'm going to start with alfonso, open up with you. thanks. >> thank you very much for the opportunity to be with you this morning. certainly, i think there has been since the election a seismic change in the political landscape when it comes to latinos and immigration. and i'm encouraged by that, i'm optimistic.
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i think next year we may actually get something done that is constructive on the issue. when we talk about immigration, it's kind of hard not to talk about the politics of it because, frankly, i believe if we haven't been able to achieve immigration reform, it's because of the politics, not because of the american people. the american people poll after poll shows the american people want to see immigration reform, and they want to see it soon. for voter security, but they also want to see some guest worker program/path to citizenship. so it's no surprise to me as somebody who was or very involved in this election cycle that governor romney lost the election. i think the writing was on the wall, and many others kept saying before the election that we had a problem with immigration. and i know that after this
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election there'll be a lot of introspection and an sils of, you know, how -- analysis of, you know, how to get the latino vote, but in the end, to me, it was the latino vote and -- romney ended up not prevailing precisely because of the latino vote and specifically because of the issue of immigration. if governor romney would have had a more constructive view on the issue from the get go, from the primaries, i think he would have been a very competitive candidate, and frankly, i think in the end he would have ended up prevailing the election. he didn't win, apparently contrary to what he thinks, not because latinos voted for obamacare or entitlements, they just didn't like him because of the things he said about immigration. they remember what he said, people should self-deport. sounds something very similar to what chris kovak would say, the secretary of state of kansas who
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was one to have co-authors -- one of the co-authors of the arizona law and very involved with the main anti-immigrant groups. in fact, when chris coe have been endorsed mitt romney, mitt romney went out of the way in the primary to embrace that endorsement and went out of his way to say that chris kovak was a great leader on immigration. his idea was -- and i don't think it was necessarily governor romney's idea. it was, i think, the idea of many gop establishment strategists that, you know, you run a campaign during the primary being a restriction as being anti-immigrant, and then after the election you do what i call the old switcheroo, you change or you soften your position. the problem with that is it's very condescending because latinos were listening. when you say you like the arizona model, then after the
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election you say, well, i didn't mean a model for the -- you go on to say i meant the e-verify portion of it. people are like, ah, we don't trust you. i think in the end they didn't trust romney on the immigration question, they didn't like the rhetoric. so, um, and there was no reason for this. because as i say, the majority of the american people want to see immigration reform. and this is something very important. and this shows why politics has to do with immigration policy. i think the anti-immigration lobby has been very e -- effective in creating the perception that the conservative base is anti-immigrant, and that's just not true. poll after poll shows, study after study shows that the majority of conservatives believe in border security but also believe in immigration reform.
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at the latino partnership before the primary season, we had the terence group. we commissioned a study to study the immigration views of likely republican primary voters. these are your tea partiers, people committed to the conservative movement. as long as you had border security there, they supported legalization, they supported a path o to citizenship, they supported the guest worker program. we included border control plus amnesty, and 52% of them supported that idea. so the anti-immigration lobby, and i mean specifically federation for american immigration reform, numbers usa, center for immigration studies. in '06, as you know, they got very involved in the political process. they influence a small group of republicans to hijack this issue
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and articulate a very anti-immigrant, restrictionist rhetoric which led in '06, they used it as a wedge issue, immigration, republicans lost the house and senate, and for six years the republican party has been perceived as a restrictionist party even though in the modern era all of our presidential, all of our presidential -- all of our presidents, all of our presidential candidates have been pro-immigration. ronald reagan was solidly for immigration reform, and if you go to youtube and google reagan/mondale debate, you'll see reagan making the case for amnesty, using that word: now, i think a majority of republicans are pro-immigration, but they have been afraid for the past six years of that anti-immigration lobby which has an incredible political machine. and anybody who says anything constructive about immigration will be called, you know, will
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be labeled pro-amnesty. and certainly, some talk show, tv and radio talk show hosts. now, i think this election cycle has dramatically changed that. i can at least number half a dozen radio and tv talk shows that already said, you know what? my position has evolved, and now i am for immigration reform. but that is good because it will give coffer to a lot of -- cover to a lot of republicans who have avoided this issue to actually do it. so we have to reclaim the issue. and we can do it because immigration, and being for immigration reform is actually the conservative position. restrictionism at the end is part of the nationalist, protectionist paradigm, and if we are the party of the family, if we are the party of the free market -- the gop is -- we should not in any way are a restrictionist position. if we are for the family, i don't think how -- i don't think
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why we should be calling for separating hundreds of thousands of families in this country, many families that have been here for decades. if we're the party of the free market, why should we tell, why should we believe that government should tell american companies that cannot find foreign workers, that cannot find american workers that they shouldn't be able to bring in foreign workers in an effective, timely fashion? that goes against the basic principles of the free market. so we can reclaim this issue and frame it in conservative terms because, as i said, we're the party of the family, and we're the party of the market. now, what exactly this is going to look like, i don't know. i've started my rounds right after i got back from d.c. going to the hill and senate and house, and i can sense there's a great environment to actually do something. the question is, is it going to
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be comprehensive? i doubt it. because today what we know as comprehensive reform in '06 and '07 is not necessarily what the administration is talking about. the president keeps talking about comprehensive reform, but i wonder if that come prehence i reform -- comprehensive reform includes a guest worker program. in the end, it is a the key to resolving this issue. and the unions, which the president is loyal to, don't want to see a guest worker program, because they don't want to see more foreign workers enter the country. they want to insure that the labor market, that the labor supply remains small. and the guest worker program is key because, again, to grow our economy we need to grow many industries that need that foreign work force. the last immigration reform that
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we had on the reagan years lacked a workable guest worker program. that was amnesty. we gave amnesty to three million individuals. but at that time the market had already absorbed those three million individuals, so what happened? immigrants kept coming in to do jobs that americans didn't want or where there were simply no americans working age to do them. so another community for undocumented immigrants was created. we need a mechanism to facilitate the legal flow of the foreign workers that america needs. and it can't be a mechanism with quotas arbitrarily set by government. because at the end, the issue of illegal immigration is an issue of big government. it is big government saying we're going to have tease guest worker programs that are going to be highly regulated and in some areas or for some type of jobs, we're going to cap. we're going to have ridiculous quotas that don't represent the
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needs of the market. when you have that, people are going to continue to enter illegally. so what we need is a demand-based guest worker program that allows companies who cannot find american workers to bring the foreign workers that they need, as many as they need. and we shouldn't be concerned in a sluggish economy like we have right now, because if you have a economy that's not growing, you won't bring as many workers: if you have a booming economy, you will bring more workers. let the market work. at the end, that's the only way we can fix this problem. in terms of legalization, i don't know how exactly that will be done, but what i'm seeing from my meetings in congress this will probably be done in a piecemeal basis rather than a comprehensive basis. and at the end i don't know if we will get for those who have been here for many years or even for the young, undocumented immigrants who enter with their
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parents, the so-called dreamers, i don't know if we'll get to a path to citizenship for them, but certainly, i think, for them we can probably get to an alternative dream act, the idea suggested by senator marco rubio. but at the end it's going to depend on the willingness from republicans but also from the president to actually sit down and negotiate. and it's not only republicans. i know we've heard this a lot that it's always republicans that don't want to do anything on immigration reform. well, nothing happened on immigration reform because the president didn't lead. he had a democratic house and senate, he didn't do anything to push immigration reform, and he didn't engage republicans. this time around immigration's a very complex issue, you need the prime minister of the united states to do -- the president of the united states to do what george bush did in 2007, to send his cabinet members to congress and negotiate with the opposition leadership. if that doesn't happen, then we have a problem.
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so i want to see how willing the president's ready to negotiate with republicans. but i am optimistic. at the end i think the biggest challenge will be or controversy would be whether we're going to get a path to citizenship for some or not. thank you. >> thank you, al upon alfonso. brad? >> i'd like to thank aei for having and this all the panel. i commend everyone for tear work but -- their work, but also approaching the subject. i'm not a public policy guy, i'm not a washington insider. i'm a restaurant owner from houston, texas. so i can kind of tell you my kind of brief experience -- well, lifelong experience on this, but brief kind of political side of it is back in september of last year, um, every day in our restaurant we have what we call comida in which we break bread with our staff, waiters and waitresses and to our kitchen staff, talk about showing up on time,
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putting the right amount of food on the table and not wasting. owning a restaurant's kind of like baby sitting, so it's kind of our moment to hit those points. and after that i had my longtime employee who's been with us over ten years, he came to us afterwards and wanted to talk to me about something. but i'd like to kind of tell you about this person before i start. over ten years ago, he came to work for our family's restaurant because his previous employer would not give him off on sunday to go to church with his family. very important part to note. i wasn't the job, it wasn't work conditions, it wasn't the pay, it was because he wanted to go to church with his family. turns out to be one of the greatest employees we've ever had, i've worked shoulder to shoulder with him, and he pulls me aside and asks me, brad, i have a question for me. i know you and your family are very conservative, and i just want to know how you can support republicans when republicans hate hispanics.
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i, you know, my chest gets all out, and i start going through my stump speech of pro-life, you know, pro-family, religious freedoms, and he just kind of nodded his head and, you know, kind of moseyed off. but that night or a couple nights later was when governor perry literally attacked by not just one, but several people on the stage, and i watched that debate through his eyes. and, you know, pardon the pun, but, houston, we've got a problem. where i'm from, you know, we've got a problem. it really catapulted me to get involved. i called around some of my majorly politically-active friends, what do we do? what do we do? you know, one of my good friends said, you know, you're a business owner, you've seen how broken the system is, you need to talk about it. little did i know how involved i'd get, but i really pushed to get on the republican party state platform. i'd never been to a convention. i've always voted republican my
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whole life, my dog's name's w. poor guy's got a 32 percent approval rating, but i still love him. [laughter] i just never got involved in the day-to-day. and we went to this convention, and i was on the republican subcommittee, the platform of the subcommittee that really started talking about this problem. and i noticed when everyone came in, we get testimony from all kinds of people, and we have about five people on the subcommittee, and people came in, and they were physically just couldn't stand each other. they'd been fighting on this issue for ten years. i mean, it was -- we had the minutemen militia there, we had the pro-business crowd there, hispanic leaders that were there, we had religious conservatives there. it looked a lot like in this panel. but they really just were, did not like each other. and we started talking about things, and, you know, it was robert's rule of order, you know? you've got 30 seconds to speak,
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blah, blah, blah. finally i said let's just suspend the rules, let's sit around the table and start talking about it. and the minutemen militia who volunteer their time on the border, we all will agree on this panel that our immigration system is broken, and in texas we have over 1200 miles of border with mexico, i can tell you, it's broken. but no one knows more ways to fix this problem than minutemen militia. everyone started putting down their arms and started putting down their weapons and started talking about solutions. you know, complaining about the problem, which i feel the 2010 republican party platform in texas lacked like, was -- looked like, was a lot of complaints, a lot of problems. this is wrong, this is wrong, this is wrong. we all know it's wrong, but how do we fix it? i believe in texas, we fix things. we've done that with tort reform, with our balanced budget amendment. our legislature only meets once
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every two years which washington could probably learn from. you know, we -- our energy policy. we fix problems, we don't complain about elle. and really everyone started coming around, that's right, we need to start doing that. so we came out of there unified. we had a one-pager of how we could address our immigration problem, 50,000-foot level, but it's one page. and we went to the floor of the convention. it's the largest gathering of conservatives in the nation. there's 8,000 delegates that are at this convention. 3,000 guests -- 2,000 guests and media all in all. i'm sure walking in to the floor, all of a sudden i see no amnesty stickers, i see a lot of campaign, oh, we're going to be having a nice debatement little did i know, it was on. and they called us every name in the book, they did everything. but when we went to the floor, we had the minutemen militia
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testify for us, hispanic -- people really felt a part of the therapeutic dr. phil session that we had in the subcommittee. but five times, four or five times they attacked our platform. not a portion of the platform, specifically our one-pager. five times they came at us. five times over two-thirds of the 8,000 delegates attending supported our solution over the rhetoric of old. and that opened a lot of people's eyes that conservatives really do understand this problem. i believe the vocal minority has hijacked this issue, and they've got us all fighting, and they've done that on purpose to make sure nothing happens. we want to get it fixed, yo -- you know? it's harming our economy in texas. it's, it's concern the federal government has failed, both
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sides of the aisle have failed on this. so how do we fix it? it was real interesting. when we came out of there, the field ya comes running into -- media comes running into the convention, and, you know, the front page of the dallas morning nudes, gop shifts on immigration. i mean, it was amazing to see that, wow, you know, we're going to come in here and label them this anti-hispanic, you know, anti-anything and it was a totally different route. then some people came to me, and some friends of mine said we've got to take this to the national level. and we went to the national platform in tampa and started talking about it, and we got a national guest worker endorsement on the republican national platform which was great. thought my work was over, and then election day hits, and wednesday my phone starts getting blown up again. you know, it's time to get back in the debate again. we need to start doing more, we immediate to start talking about this. i believe free market solutions are a part of this.
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i believe in strong border security. the anti-immigration groups will try to label us as open borders, big business, wants cheap labor. i can tell you if we can fund blackwater security forces in iraq -- and i'm not saying we use blackwater -- but some type of security force that is licensed and doing a good job, we need to do that. we need to secure our borders. i can tell you in texas, i've been down and seen firsthand in brooks county, texas, the devastating effect that it has on property owners, on everything. we need to look at every option available. it is in our national security to do so. so i'm not for open borders any way, shape or form. as an employer, i can tell you as someone who used e-verify, how broken e-verify is. folks, i'm telling you right now i am all for an employment verification system. we need an employment verification system. but e-verify makes the united
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states postal service look efficient. it's a government-run software program. i don't think i need to say anything more than that. it's a government-run software program that needs to be modernized. as an employer, nine out of ten businesses have a credit card terminal, now you can get one on your iphone even, and you can have visa, mastercard, american express where it tells you accepted, declined, card's been stolen, etc. why can't we have american companies take this program over and streamline it and make it more efficient where you can get a reading? i've had employees not pass e-verify, and they have to go to the social security administration and stand in line for three days to get it corrected. that's not conservativism. how have we been, you know, spoon fed to say that a government-run software program is a conservative solution? you can see people talking about it all the time. we need the free market to show
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us how we can do this. we need to take that over. but as an employer, the social security card's not been modernized since 1936. that just blows me away right there. the same social security card. i mean, if we just printed the social security card on the same type of paper that we do a u.s. passport that's anti-counterfeit proof or a $5 bill, it would help the process. as an employer, i can tell you as someone who's got to take these identification documents, it's cumbersome. it's troubling. we need to look at how we address that. our temporary worker program we passed, what have you, it's got to be self-funding through fines and fees. it can't -- it's got to be a zero budget impact item. the ore thing is that we -- the other thing is that we value the american worker as number one only if the american worker's not available for that job will we go the guest worker route.
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let me expand on that a little bit. it think the states should have these guest worker programs. the texas work force commission as an employer, we lay someone off, they go to the texas work force commission, that's where they get their unemployment benefits. if you fire them, today appeal to the texas work force commission. nobody knows who's unemployed more than the texas work force commission. no one knows our job creators better than the commission. if they were able to administer a guest worker program versus it coming up here to la haland, disney world of government, it would be a much more efficient-run process. we need the states to be able to run these things so we make sure that the american worker is number one. number one gets hired. if they're not available, then we go the guest worker route. and we laid out from health care issues to where making sure that each employee gets, each guest worker has a health insurance and also a biometric identification card.
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so thank you. >> okay. [applause] brad, thank you. i don't know as the moderator if this makes me dr. phil, but anyway, richard, over to you, please. >> thank you. and i've noticed there's one thing that's quite unusual about this panel, and you should have high expectations of us, all but one of us is left-handed. [laughter] and you have to be enterprising to be victorious over the prejudices of right-handed people to remain left-handed. so we are triumphant. poll after poll shows that 70 percent of the american people would be more likely to support a candidate who was for comprehensive, fair and just immigration gration reform that included -- immigration reform that included secure borders. unfortunately, that 70% are focused more in the middle, those who are independents, than those who vote in democratic and
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republican primaries. and let's be honest, already people in both parties who have a vested interest in solving this problem. for their own political advantage. and to the detriment of the country. this, this issue is rending the social fabric of the nation in ways that are far easier to rend than they are to mend, and it is time that people of goodwill in this country focus on a solution that begins to mend the social fabric instead of further rending it. and let me say very clearly we need comprehensive, fair and just immigration reform first and foremost. because it is the right thing to do. it is consistent with american principles, it is consistent with christian principles. if you want to see a long explanation to that, i would encourage you to go to the
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regent university law review web site where my colleague, barrett duke, and i have written a long, biblical explanation of the reasons why fair, just and comprehensive immigration e -- reform is the right thing to do. this is not a difficult problem the solve if people of goodwill will get together and solve it. um, i don't want see how we're going to secure the border until we secure the workplace. the workplace is the magnet. as long as you have the economic disparity that you have between south america and the united states, people are going to come here. to better themselves, to better their families' futures. they're going to come here. they're going to find a way to come here. they will defeat any means that we put up to stop them. they'll go over it, under it, around it, they'll get here. the only way to secure the border is to secure the workplace. now, i would argue that we
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should have a three month period where people would have an opportunity to come forward to register, to undergo a criminal background check and then -- and pay a fine for having broken the law. not amnesty. amnesty is what jimmy carter gave to the draft dodgers who went to qanta to avoid -- to canada to avoid service in vietnam. they got to come home with no penalty, no fine, no anything, they just got to come home. now, i would have let them come home, but i would have required them to work for who years in veterans hospitals for two years at minimum wage taking care of those who took their place. now, i would say you have a three month period to come forward to register, to undergo a criminal background check, pay a fine. part of that fine would be used to give them a tamper of proof identity card, preferably a thumb print. not a picture, but a thumb
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print. then you give to every american a new social security -- not the antique that we've been giving since 1936 -- that also has some form of identification on it, probably a thumb print. once again, not a picture, but a thumb print. and then you say to employers, you hire someone who doesn't have either this identity card or this new social security card, and you're going to go to jail for six months. that will turn off the magnet. it will also, according to the council on foreign relations task force, which i would really encourage you to go to their web site and read on immigration reform, i believe it was 12% that wages were suppressed in this country at the minimum level. wages are suppressed by 12% for the poorest among us by the competition of undocumented workers. so if we, if we secure the workplace, wages for those who most need it will go up about 12%.
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because they're being exploited by unscrupulous employers who are using undocumented workers. that are cut down the flow by about 90% at the border. that makes it possible to secure the border for those who are trying to come across for nefarious purposes, for criminal enterprises. we can stop them at the border. and then we say to those who are here in an undocumented status, you're on probation, you're paying a fine, and this is, to me, the most -- i find when i talk to people the most emotional issue in all of this is language. i find americans across the generations don't want us to have to sing the national anthem in two languages at the world series. they want the national anthem sung in english even if all the ball players are latin american. so they have to agree. if they want to stay here
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permanently, they have to agree to learn to read, write and speak english. i find among the undocumented workers they have no problem with this. they want to learn english. they understand that to live the american dream they have to learn to speak standard english. it's only liberals who inhabit college campuses and education departments who have a problem with english becoming the primary language and asking people to learn to read, write and speak english. then you have a sliding scale where you say to people if you've been here 20 years -- and some of them have been -- and by the way, we've had two signs at the border for the last 20 years. one says no trespass, the other one says help wanted. yes, it's wrong to break the law. it's also wrong and immoral not to enforce the law for 20 years and then retroactively say now we're going toen force the law. -- to enforce the law.
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the way i explain it is, you know, it'd be like the federal government sending me a bill saying we haven't geffen -- we haven't given you a speeding ticket for the last 20 year, but we've noticed that you consistently break the speed limit on the interstate, which i do as a texan. it's my right to aim my car, not drive it. [laughter] 85 miles an hour now in parts of texas is the speed limit. amen. and then say, by the way, we're going to give you a fine for every time you've broken the law for the last 20 years, and we're going to confiscate your car until you pay the fine. i'd have to go to the bank to get a loan. and i would think i'd been treated unfairly. it's unfair to not enforce the law for 20 years and then say retroactively we're going to enforce the raw now. that's immoral. it's just immoral. we say to people who have been here a long time, you're on probation for four yearses or five years, and then you have permanent legal status.
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now, once they get permanent legal status, at some point they're going to be able to get citizenship. but permanent legal status will get us to comprehensive immigration reform faster because it will eliminate one of the major political hurdles to toing us there -- to getting us there. then we need to have a guest worker program. and i think it's better to have them run by the states where you would have an opportunity if you offer a job at a wage and for 30 days no one takes it, then you can go to a preapproved pool of people who want to come here and do that job, and they can come here and do that job for a certain amount of time, and then they have to, you have to offer that job again to someone. if an american worker does not want it, then you give it to someone else. now, it's also in our enlightened self-interest to have comprehensive immigration reform. i would once again encourage you to go to the council on foreign relations web site and see their
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task force report. it was co-chaired by jeb bush and mac mclarty. the country that's going to lead the world in the 21st century economically is going to be the country that can amass the largest mass of brain power no matter where it was born to do its research in its country. now, we start off with a aide start because we are a nation of immigrants. but there are other countries that are competing with us. anybody who gets a ph.d. in a hard science from an american university -- i don't care where they were born -- we ought to staple a green card to their diploma. and encourage them to do their work here. if we want, if we want america to be the country that leads the world in research and in innovation in the 21st century. and as an american, i want that to be the united states.
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this is an issue that can be involved. the american people are way ahead of where their elected representatives are. and i look at the composition of this room, and there is a generation gap. i find that the older people are, the less receptive they are to immigration reform. the younger they are, the more recementive they are to immigration reform -- receptive they are to the immigration reform. and i have a column in the christian post that i would encourage you to read called the night the gop began to lose the 2012 election. and that was the night that governor rick perry got booed by the audience. not just mistreated by the candidates, but booed by the audience for defending in-state tuition for the children of undocumented workers in texas. which passed in 2001 with only five state legislators voting
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against it. do you know how difficult it is to get all but five texas state legislators to agree on anything? >> very hard. >> i mean, it's almost impossible. today won't even agree on what time the sun came up. but they agreed to this legislation because it was right for texas, it was right for these young people. this is the low-hanging fruit. these young people have done nothing wrong. they have broken no lawment -- law. they are here because of their parents' actions, and i don't believe the united states of america is a country that wants to punish children for their parents' behavior. these young people want to be americans, they want to improve themselves and be contributors to our economy, and it is immoral for us to put, put barricades in their path. and, frankly, as a republican -- and i was ashamed of my party. for their behavior that night. they ought to apologize. i can understand why hispanics
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would say republicans don't like us. that's not true. but you wouldn't know it from that behavior of that crowd that night. and it's time that we, frankly, i'm just going to make a judgment call here. frankly, it's time for us to quit listening to the people with the smallest brains and the biggest mouths. [applause] >> okay, richard. next up is a person with an enormous brain -- [laughter] so we'll listen to him next, and that's ramesh. >> not as big as my mouth, however. [laughter] thank you. thank you all for coming out here. a lot of the themes and concerns that ought to inform a conservative immigration policy have already been discussed here. matters having to do with economics and morality and politics. um, so i figured what i would do is talk a little bit about an issue that i think tends to get a little underetch sized in
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these conversations ash underemphasized in these conversations, and that is assimilation. people mean different things when they use that word. what i mean in saying that our immigration and postimmigration policies ought to be oriented toward assimilation is simply that we should want newcomers to the united states to have a good shot at becoming successful americans who can support themselves rather than rely on taxpayers, who can and do fully participate in local, state and national political deliberations, fully participate in our culture and who see themselves and are seen by others as americans. these are things we want, these are things we should take steps to achieve. assimilation shouldn't, in my view, mean the elimination of what's distinctive about immigrant cultures. the assimilation i have in mind is compatible with immigrants changing and ideally enriching the national culture. the important thing is that
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newcomers and native-born americans alike have a shared sense of belonging, consider their interests to be common interests rather than antagonistic ones and be able to communicate with one another. an immigration policy that takes assimilation as one of its watch words would, i think, look different in important respects both from what we currently have and from some of the proposals that we often hear about. i think pretty obviously if assimilation is the goal, then we want to make as much of off immigrant inflow to be legal rather than illegal. illegality on the part of a large population posing, i would think, a pretty obvious challenge to that goal. i think it also stands to reason that we should be mindful of the fact that it's easier to assimilate in an immigrant population the more diverse character, the less it's dominated by immigrants from one particular place and also that
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it's easier the smaller that inflow is. and it's also, i think, stands to reason that we can successfully absorb more imgrants the more care we take to equip new immigrants with the skills they need to make it in the u.s. for example, as richard mentioned, by making sure that they and their children receive effective english language instruction. we tend to talk a lot about what to do about illegal immigrants who are already here, whether to provide them with what some people call earned legalization and other people call amnesty. and on both sides a lot of the arguments are moral. one group suggesting legalization would erode the rule of law, and another saying, well, no, actually, it's the status quo that undermines the rule of law. and besides, we have a humanitarian duty to regularize the status of the people who have come here over the last few decades. well, my own reading of the polls is that the answers that
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people give to a lot of questions depend a lot on the wording of the questions which suggest to me that these polls are useful for identifying some impulses that are strong within the public and not so much for finding specific policies. the impression i have from looking at the varying polls is that most people are not opposed in principle to allowing people who have been here for many years and meet certain other conditions to get can legal status. to get legal status. but i also think most people don't feel obligated to provide this legal status if there's a danger that providing it will yield more illegal immigration in the future. if that is, it will just form part of a cycle of an ineffective and fundamentally unserious national policy. a lack of trust in the federal government and a national politics seems to me to have
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been and to continue to be the most serious obstacle to the achievement of an immigration policy that otherwise looks like it ought to have a consensus behind it. the more people have confidence enforcement, confidence and enforcement both at the boarder and again, as richard said, at the workplace, the more i suspect they would be willing to support legalization, amnesty or whatever you want to call it. and i think that consensus would include an awful lot of conservatives. but what strikes me as more problematic in principle than earned legalization in a lot of proposals i hear about immigration reform is the idea of temporary work authorizations. and i think we can all understand the impulse. you want to meet the needs of business for workers, especially for jobs that most americans are not interested in taking. and at the same time you don't want to raise the hackles of those americans who don't want as much immigration.
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but with i am deeply keptal that these -- skeptical that these proposals can work. for example, if temporary workers who are here have children while they're here, children who would be u.s. citizens under prevailing interpretations of the constitution, would we really deport the parents? or would the same considerations that move many people to view enforcement of the law as harsh under current conditions lead us to flinch from enforcement in those conditions as well? all of the arguments about family values, not breaking up families would apply in such cases. if e-verify doesn't work, as i often hear from proponents of immigration reform, um, well, why would we expect the federal government to do a great job of running the background checks and enforcing the time limits that that kind of policy would entail? but beyond these practical concerns, i also fear that this policy sends a message, and in
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particular, a message to hispanics that we want to benefit from your labor, but we don't want you to be full participants in american life, and can we definitely don't want you to have political power. that is an anti-asimilarlative message. it has typically been conservative immigration reformers who have been most positive about work programs, and it's been the labor left that's been most opposed to it that the latter arguing it's a ten backward for our civic ideals. i'm a conservative, and i'm not often in sympathy with labor. but this seems to me to be a reasonable argument. it it seems to me, in fact, to be the correct argument. it's no secret that conservatives have long been divided about immigration, and the election results have brought this issue to the fore. i don't expect to resolve these differences here, but as somebody who finds himself if between the major conservative camps on this issue, let me make a couple of suggestions toward bridging the gap.
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for the enforcement-only folks, i think the most important thing i'd have to say is it is usual in what you say and -- crucial that you acknowledge how reasonable and understandable it is that people would break the law to come here to build better lives for themselves and their families. you don't have to believe that's the right thing to do, you don't have to believe the government should allow it to see this point. i don't think some of the people on this side of of the debate see how easily their condemnation of illegal behavior can come across as personal hostility to illegal immigrants and even to hispanics and asians in general with. it's much better to stick to a critique of institutions and policies rather than of people, i think, on this issue. for the folks who want comprehensive reform, i'd say take seriously the concerns people have expressed about enforcement and the sometimes unexpressed concerns they have
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about assimilation. when, you know, a couple people have mentioned rick perry and the boos he got. well, let's not forget i think a basic principle. if you want to persuade people who do not already agree with you to come around to your position, calling them heartless may not be the way to go about it. don't approach this as a purely economic issue. don't approach it as a matter of maximizing the vote share of one party or another. a temptation, by the way, i'm very happy to say was avoided, has been avoided on this panel. family values, economic efficiency, the rule of law, national cohesion, these are all good conservative themes. they need to be all respected and brought into alignment with one another. thank you. [applause] >> okay. ramesh, thank you very much. want to go to the audience for questions in just a second, but i will take the moderator's prerogative to ask a question of
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the panel, and i'm actually going to break the rule that i set out at the very beginning, and i actually want to talk politics for one second which is i worry that in the wake of governor romney doing so poorly among hispanics that it just seems so obvious that republicans and conservatives may want to change how they approach the immigration issue. and while i can't certainly know that this is true, i always suspected that governor romney wasn't really sort of deep down inside a hard liner on the immigration issue as he came across. i think there was a question of he had to win his party's primary, and he calculated accordingly and crafted a policy approach and a rhetorical approach in keeping with that. now, nothing that has happened even since the election would
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seem to me necessarily to have changed that fact for republicans who need to win their party's nomination in order to -- i already see alfonso shaking his head, and that's fine -- but i'm wondering if any of you would choose to comment on that fact, that this is a reality or at least of winning the party's nomination. >> well, i mean, i guess going back to -- now that we're going through this introspection, people say, well, we need to understand latinos, i think we have to begin by understanding our own conservative base. and i think we saw it in the primary where -- and i'll give you one example, newt gingrich. newt's approach to immigration was actually pretty good. it was constructive. and remember that last debate of 2011 where he said, you know, he confronted michele bachmann, and he said if you're for the family, why do you want to deport so many people? you know, we need to find a
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common sense approach to deal with this issue. and he said i'm willing to take the heat. he didn't go down in the polls after he said that. he actually surged. he ended up winning south carolina, you know? the restrictionists would like to argue that governor perry went down in the primary because of his position on immigration. he went down because we all know he had some problems with the debates. but that's -- >> which had to do with medication he was taking from back surgery. i mean, yeah. he's not the most erudite candidate, but he's more so than he appeared. >> right. >> that's going to be the new republican campaign slogan -- [laughter] more erudite than we appear. >> when you run a primary, you will have some in the conservative base that will be angry about having a constructive position on immigration, but you're not going to lose the primary because of immigration. and i think that's where we start. the problem is that everything that the candidates were being
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fed from the are top, from karl rove down -- because i remember how karl rove reacted when newt came out with his position on immigration saying, well, that's a minority view, it's not a minority view. >> yeah, i -- go ahead. >> i was going to say, look, you have to understand that if you speak out on immigration reform and you're in favor of it, you're going to get this tidal wave of manufactured astroturf. it really is astroturf that appears to be grass roots. you know, when i came out on this, i got attacked. we got, like, 3,000 e-mails in my office. all the same e-mail, by the way. generated by this ersatz, grassroots organization which then started attacking me because i, after all, was a member of the council on foreign relations -- ooh!
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[laughter] i mean, you know, you just have to buck up and say, okay, shut up. and continue. i got attacked for coming out in favor of immigration reform and encouraging my denomination to do immigration reform, and then lo and behold, we got to our convention which is, you know, thousands of people elected by their local churches to come and represent their churches from all across the country, and in 2011 -- in phoenix -- we voted 80% to 20% in favor of comprehensive immigration reform. the southern baptist convention, one of the most conservative evangelical denominations in the country. i think that the republicans and those who want republicans to win need to understand that there are highly-organized groups that have a vested
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interest in fomenting anti-immigration feeling. and the only way to defeat them is to confront them and to shame them. shame them. now, i, you know, as far as i'm concerned rick perry was being charitable when he called those who booed heartless. i can think of other less charitable names they could have been called. as a historian, i would say, folks the nativists have lost every one of these debates from the revolutionary period until now. they've lost every one of these debates. if you want to be on the losing side, be a nativist. >> yeah. well, i think, you know, it's a recent trend. our party's not always been this way. you know, you go back to then-governor bush and how he went into hispanic communities,
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he didn't pander to them during election time, he didn't -- he genuinely went in there with his broken spanish and tried to speak to them, and, you know, and appointed them to boards and commissions. he did that in 2000, he did that in, um, 2004, and we got 44% of the vote. in texas he got 49% of the vote. working shoulder to shoulder with many hispanics, i can tell you that they don't like pandering either. they don't enjoy the political process, and we need to be a party that learns from that. but what's recently happened is exactly what dr. land said, is these groups that are highly financed and highly funded that have infiltrated the conservative movement. they've got us all stirred up fighting, and the very answer and their solution is no, no, no, deport, deport, deport. it's population control, it's the environment is their god, and, um, they don't have
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anything in common with us. they get a couple people they pay up front to be their fair-haired conservative, credentialed individual, but if you really start peeling back layers of the onion, it'll make you cry. it's not conservative at all. they've literally, i believe, hijacked the party on this issue, and they've got us fighting on this issue so much that people national -- conservative authors are claiming that immigration issues is one of the conservative principles. it's like, you know, since when did this become a conservative principle? we need to use our conservative principles to address this problem, not complain about the problem. and i think that is what's happened of recent, and it's not just about b trying to win elections, it's trying to grow the party and welcome people. i'm in the hospitality business. when you come into the restaurant, we're welcoming you to be there. we're wanting you to feel like you're home. we need to learn from that. the anti-immigration rhetoric that's been displayed is doing
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more damage than it is good. >> ramesh, do you have a comment? >> sure. look, i should preface my remarks on this by saying i am in complete agreement that conservatives and republicans need to do a better job or in some cases a job for the first time of trying to appeal to hispanic voters and other nonwhite voters. but i think we should not kid ourselves about some of the obstacles. we need to start with an accurate look at some of these numbers, and we should look, for example, at the fact that that claim that bush got 44% of the hispanic vote in 2004 was subsequently retracted. he got something closer, according to the exit polls, 8-0% -- 48-40%. still good, but let's use accurate numbers. and let's also not kid ourselves that hispanic voters are voters
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who care first, foremost and only about immigration and that once you've, once you've solved that problem, you're going to win this vote. it may be something that helps you have an open door where they're going to listen to the rest of your message. i'm not suggesting otherwise. but polls have also shown most hispanics favor the president's health care law. they give a different answer than the one conservatives do to the exit poll question about do you want a bigger government with more services or a smaller government with fewer services. they want a much higher minimum wage. so on issue after issue these are voters who just disagree with conservatives on a lot of policy issue, although, um, you know, talk about well funding, there are certainly well-funded organizations that can certainly come up with polls on the other side of it. i would just point out, you know, reagan not only was welcoming of immigrants, he actually enacted an amnesty in
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the 986 which people -- 1986 which people at the time were willing to call an amnesty, and in 1988 the republican president got 29% of the hispanic vote. so again, i hear from people i respect, charles krauthammer, that this is the magic key, and it isn't. and then last i would just point out one of the problems that republicans had in this election was not just the bad showing among hispanics, but the fact that a lot of white, working class voters did not turn out to vote. and it seems to me that if you trying to figure -- if you're trying to figure out what to do about that problem as a republican coming out for anything that can be described as an amnesty would not be at the top of your list. again, not to suggest that there shouldn't be changes in the republican approach to immigration policy and outreach to different groups, but i'm hearing a lot of illusions and
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naivete about just how easy it's going to be to solve these political problems. >> i think that's important to note. um, we always look as a party of, you know, who are we in hispanic outreach and things. we have senator ted cruz from texas. we've got a hero in marco rubio who's leading this fight. we've got governor susana martinez in new mexico. these are leaders in our party right now, right now. so they connect with what our beliefs are. they general genuinely -- genuine connect with what our issues are. you know, candidates -- i mean, when mitt romney got asked in the debate answer immigration -- about immigration, it was, like, very awkward. what do i do with my hands? you know in we've got to talk about it. and that's what marco rubio leads the charge on.
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he talks about immigration, and that is what our party needs to talk about. you know, it can't be an issue that we avoid. >> okay. we're going to go to the audience here. just a couple ground rules. i ask that you wait for a microphone to come around and that you state your question in the form of a question. so we have a question right here, and then we'll go there next. >> hi, alex from the cato institute. there seems to be some disagreement on the panel about whether guest worker visas are a good way to go forward or not, and ramesh comes at it from an assimilationist point of view, and brad comes at it from this is a good way to work it, we can take some strain off the black market entry, provide businesses what they need. it seems like most hispanic immigrants throughout the history of the united states who have come in, it's a circular flow. they want to come in, work, go back to their home countries with the savings. this mirrors italian immigration that happened essentially before
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as well. since we're not going to get a massive increase in green cards to make up for the number of hispanic workers who come in, why can't worker program, you know, fill this more effectively? um, as a temporary solution or something that can work well given how it is a circular flow? >> well, i think it can. i think it can. the cfr report showed that 30% of the people who are here in undocumented status don't want to stay here permanently. and they want to come here, make money and then go home and open a garage in monterey for the same reason that a lot of our retirees are moving to mexico, was the american dollar -- because the american dollar goes a lot farther, at least right now, in mexico than it does in the united states. and if we had a border, if we had a border we controlled and we had people with guest worker cards and they could go back and forth and so they wouldn't be risking their lives to go home and visit their families, um, you would have more of these
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people who would come here, work here for a certain numb number of years and then go back to their country of origin and want to retain their ties there. i mean, 30% of the people who are here in an undocumented status didn't come here and don't -- didn't come here to stay here permanently and don't want to stay here permanently. so i think that that works for them. i do think assimilation would -- if we had a legal immigration policy that worked and gave a pathway to legalization for the undocumenteds, they would begin to assimilate at the rate that former immigrant groups have assimilated. the undocumenteds are not assimilating at the same rate because they have to stay in the shad does. they are subject to exploitation, and they are not as assimilated as quickly as previous immigrant groups have been assimilated. >> do i think you used a term that is extremely important as we begin this discussion which is circular migration.
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and that's something that, that's why we are in the problem that we're in, and, you know, dr. land addressed the issue of those who come here who don't want to stay, they stay here because to go back would mean leaving and then reentering illegally. so hay -- so they end up here. let's also look at the guest worker program not only as a function of the needs of our economy, it's also a pro-family approach. do you know how many families we've broken up in mexico and in central america of people who come here to work, leave their spouses, their children back home, and they never see them? they have the commitment to send remittances, but then they start families here in the united states. it's breaking up families. so i think we can't guarantee for every single form, person that enters the u.s. a path to citizenship. so i think we have to adopt this
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concept of circular migration, and you'll see a lot of people -- perhaps a majority -- wanting to come here to work and then return to their country. but we have to make it flexible so when they're done with their job, they can go back, say, to mexico and then reenter for the next season of work with. but i think it has to be flexible. it has to reflect, again, the needs of the market. i think it is precisely the unions who make this argument that the guest worker program is some sort of indentured servitude that, you know, the only way we can allow immigrants if we make a path to citizenship. well, that is ridiculous. we can't give a path to citizenship to everyone. and in terms of not increasing the number of green cards, i am not sure we're not going to get to that discussion as well. governor romney, for example, a proposal he made during the primary which nobody paid attention to was doing away with the quotas for the immediate relatives of permanent
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residents. that, perhaps, is an interesting approach to facilitate legal immigration and family reunification, but i think that's something we have to consider as well, increasing the number of green cards and allowing people to be here permanently. >> and i think it also comes down to, um, states. as ramesh said earlier about the feds not being effective at running a guest worker background check type thing, but i think we also need to look at how the states handle it. we have driver's license d.s all over texas. the state works a lot better than this town works. go home for thanks giving and stay a week. i promise you, it's -- you come up here, and it just kind of gets gridlocked. but it's not just about getting a cheap labor in. you know, i believe in assimilation portion, but we need to start with that and then create a way to become citizens
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where they can vote and they can become citizens. but that's a debate we need to have a talk. our plan was done at t the 50,000-foot level, but we need to make sure that we have this discussion and start with solutions versus the rhetoric. .. and think, you know, if i'm
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saying this is all going to result in the circular migratory flow and it's all going to work a perfectly and is not going to be, it's going to be perfectly administratively feasible, and yes, we will have the political will to enforce the limits on the guestworker program and we haven't had the political will to do so yet, and the fact our lack of same is one of the major reasons we have for arguing for this, maybe people are just not going to quite buy it. and the other thing i would say it is, we're talking of the politics of the, the temporary worker program, if the impetus here is a large part there's a political problem for conservatives and republicans, that cannot possibly be the solution to it. because you'll be instantly outflank. they will be an argument that says you want folks to work hard here and you don't want them to become citizens, you don't want them to become voters, you don't want them to a full political right, that's not going to be a winning message. you are always going to be
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looking like you are more hostile to hispanics, and what's more, that argument is correct. and that's what it's going to have that fight. >> okay. we have some here and we will come down to this gentleman. >> fred from george washington university. my question goes related not to the cheap labor or to the highly qualified ph.d holding member, but rather someone who went to undergrad or maybe with her grad school and is trying to find a place in society but it's always attached to its employers. that's what i see as being the most cruel part of the immigration system which is your always attached to your employer. you lose your freedom of movement and you lose part of the free market labor that americans have and take it for granted. instead of having a health care attached to your citizenship, it's having a permanence in the country being attached to your employer. how do you address this person
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that is not in the lower tier but not also in the top tier, but it's just the average is just middle-class type of person that is what makes part of the american society? >> as part of the naturally, the permanent residency process, we have two mechanisms, which is family based immigration visa, or employment-based. so even those who come here to work, they could be petitioned as immigrants and eventually become citizens. question is, perhaps we need more immigrant visas for workers. one of the interesting things that happen in the last congress, which again was not
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reported because republicans are all bad and immigrant, was a bill introduced by congressman chaffetz of utah, which passed the house by a vote of 385-15. i haven't seen that type of a partisanship since immigration in a very long time. and what it did was, it did away with the quotas for employment-based, the country based limits quote is for employment-based immigrant visas. and for family based, it increased them, it doubled them. so i think there's room here because we do need people with advanced degrees and normally, if it's an employment-based job, i think we need to increase that number so there are more employment-based visas available so more can become permanent
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residents and eventually citizens. >> if i could also say, i completely agree with the thrust of your question that i think of linkage to a particular employer is deeply problematic part of this policy. i think if you want an immigration policy that meets u.s. economic needs, then maybe what you do is cut back on the use of immigration to reunite extended families and increase skills, skilled immigration and not have it so tied to particular employers at precisely to serve the cause of the labor market. >> one of the things the council on foreign relations task force did do, we wrestled with this, was cut back on extended families and keep it to nuclear families because the number just astronomical. and opens it up for the kind of thing you're talking about. the whole system is broken and
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needs to be fixed, but i think we need to understand something. we are a unique country. we are the only country in the world that is a creedal country. we are, anybody can become an american. if they're willing to pledge allegiance to the secular creed laid out in the declaration of independence. they can become an americans, and since you can't become english or french. if i lost my mind i could probably go through all of the legal provisions and become a citizen of france. that, thank god, which still not make me a frenchman. you know, anybody can go to the legal provision and become an american, and you know, the great thing about our country i lived in england for three years and i enjoyed it, but compared to america england is a really boring place. and the reason is, everyone of our immigrant groups that have come to this country, even the ones that were broader forcibly, i mean, jazz, our cuisine, our
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language. everything has been enriched by every immigrant group that has come. they have contributed to our culture. and we are not saying that you should suppress that. we have columbus day parade for italian americans. we have polish-american parade. we a single tomato in texas. we even have and will american celebration. -- cinco de mayo in texas. it is a commemoration. as long as, it has to be on the right so level. you are an italian-american. you're an anglo-american. your hispanic american. and i talk to someone from germany last year who chose to become an american. and i said why. he said, you have so much more freedom here. in germany, there are tremendous
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expectations about what you're supposed to do and how you're supposed to behave, based on your family background. here, you are free. we want people who yearn for that freedom, to come to the united states. they always have. we want them to continue to do so. it's what makes us americans. >> we have a question down here, two questions. maybe if you could ask a question and then hands the microphone and ask both of them and tried to take both questions. >> all right. i'm a canadian working in the is on an h. on h-1b1 visa, a process which i won't wish on my worst enemy. and compared to my visa when a work in singapore which was approved overnight, my question is how would you address the reform for those who want to come to the u.s. to work? i would agree with the point, the emphasis here being on work and boost economy and pay taxes in the american tradition.
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would we have to only get a job if there was none for an american in which case i wouldn't be able to be here, and i just point to research at the cato institute which mentions that immigrants response to market-based signals boost the economy and boost wages for all levels. thank you very much. >> go ahead and ask the question and then we will address both of them. >> okay. [inaudible] i'm a first generation immigrant and new york republican which basically means i have to be a democrat everywhere else. so my question is different from his. so mine, i want to take more to the political sphere send you are all in tune to what the republican party is going, and everything. how can the republican party become the big party again the way it was during reagan? i feel the republican party is just slowly and slowly and slowly and slowly becoming a smaller and smaller and smaller party, and basically throwing
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people out like me or other republicans that you're not a real republican, or things like that. and the democratic party is going the opposite direction. they were the small party, there is no in the '80s and the late '70s. now they are the inclusive party. bringing in latinos, bringing in, well, blacks beforehand, but bring in all these other groups how can the republican party kind of switch and start to be more of an inclusive party? >> why do we take the first question first and go back and close on the last one. >> the h-1b wendy's and the whole process is like you said totally, totally broken. i would like to give an example. i have a lot, entire agriculture committee, the entire dignity even from grown fruits and vegetables to working anything. agricultural wise, thousands and thousands of visas are applied for.
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less than 2% of the entire workforce is approved on a visa. a lot of the seasonal and migratory. while major league baseball who has a 50% foreign-born workforce, 100% of their visas are approved. who does more for the american economy? major league baseball or the agriculture industry? that shows how broken our system is. we've got to make sure that we look, but there's so many jobs available. last as watching a program in which the skilled workforces is tremendous a combat pilot high skilled computers, just skilled labor is an issue. we need to look at our entire country, but having immigrants come to a country like dr. land said, is really is what a country is about and how it was found. this is a discussion we need to have, and look for. but currently right now, i've talked to many people come especially in georgia how cumbersome it is. and how it works. so we need to streamline that and make a more efficient. my personal opinion is i think the states can help a lot with
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that and cut the red tape of the federal government. >> can i just respond to the second one. it seems to me that the republican party is the party that is far more tolerant of the dissension than the democratic party us to our member bob casey not being allowed to speak, bob casey senior not being allowed to speak at the democratic convention because he was pro-life. we have pro-life and pro-choice republicans. many a pro-life democrat other than bob casey, jr. we have pro-life, we have pro-traditional marriage, republicans, and we have homosexual and lesbian republicans. name me a pro-traditional marriage democrats. national figure. you know, the democratic party ever since the new deal a collection of interest groups, and ethnicities. and the republican party has been the sort of big tent party
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but i think it still is the big tent party. the question is, and i think where it's lost its way is, is it has nominated, you know, people like governor romney who's a really nice guy, and who i think would have been a pretty good president, but as george will says, he speaks conservatism as a second language. i mean, you know, i, severely conservative. nobody who is conservative, has ever said i'm severely conservative. i mean, it's an oxymoron. like humble, texas. it's an oxymoron. we need, there's nothing wrong with republican party that better candidates and better messaging wouldn't solve the. i mean, you know, i think marco rubio would be a wonderful hispanic version of ronald reagan.
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>> let me quickly, on the h-1b, i think the problem with the frustration, sometimes, it's not necessarily, i know they can be a problem with the processing, it's with a cap. those are just the h-1b is what, 66, 65? again, we need more than 65,000 h-1b people with advanced degrees? absolute. so that is the problem. i don't know if it's the prospect. let me defend immigration services for a minute not because i served for six years there. the processing of adjustment of status to a green card to a permanent resident green card, naturalization positions are actually being processed right now fairly quickly. you can naturalize in this country in, you know, less than six months. i think a lot of these problems right now are the number of